Showing posts with label Trap Door Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trap Door Theatre. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Shows On Our Radar: Ionesco's The Killer at THE TRAP DOOR THEATRE


The Killer
Written by: ​Eugene Ionesco Translated by: ​Donald Watson Directed by: ​Mike Steele

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Jacob Davis, Around the Town Chicago

RECOMMENDED - “The Killer is… emblematic of what Trap Door continues to do so well” - Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune

RECOMMENDED "Bisto is amazing in the lead role..." Karen Topham, 

*Now Extended Through July 13th 
Due To Popular Demand*

Featuring​: Dennis Bisto, Michael Mejia, Kevin Webb, Holly Cerney, Abby Blankenship, Keith Surney, Logan Hulick, Laura Nelson.

Eugene Ionesco (Playwright) ​was born in 1909 (or in 1912, according to some sources) in Slatina, Romania. His father was Romanian and his mother French-Romanian and he spent his early years both in his native land and in France. During WW2 he moved to France and lived there until his death in 1994. During his long career he published essays, books for children, and a novel, but he is best known as a playwright and one of the major forces, alongside Beckett, Genet and Adamov, behind the Theatre of the Absurd in France. His first play, ​The Bold Soprano (​ 1950) inaugurated a series of short, antilogical anti-plays (​The Lesson ​[1951], ​The Chairs [1952], ​The New Tenant ​[1995]) in which many of his themes, such as the clichés of thought and language, the irrationality of materialist values and the loneliness and isolation of the individual, first appeared. Later, full-length plays, such as ​The Killer ​(1959), Rhinoceros (​ 1960), ​Exit the King ​(1960) and ​Macbett ​(1972) offered somewhat more positive protagonists who hold out against the conformity but lack any rational explanation for their actions. His characters tend to be unthinking automatons unaware of their own mechanical behavior. All of Ionesco’s plays deal with a human situation from which the element of rationality (and of rational language) is absent; more specifically, all Ionesco’s drama is a satire upon a middle class, its speech, its manners, and its morals. Ionesco is a master of partial communication—A speaks, B listens, B then replies as if A has not relayed any information whatsoever. In 1970 Ionesco was elected to the Académie Française.

Mike Steele (Director)​ currently serves as Literary Manager for Trap Door theatre, where he also curates the “Trap Open” Incubator Series. Additionally, he is the former Founding Artistic Director of The Island Theatre (R.I.P.). Directing credits include ​Sad Happy Sucker​ by Lee Kirk (Trap Door Theatre), ​The Fever​ by Wallace Shawn, ​The Glass Inward​, and ​Tourist Trap​ (The Island). Over the past two years Mike has been devising and directing a series of original dance-theatre pieces titled ​The Capillaries​, which have been presented at Links Hall where he was a 2017 “Summer Intensive” resident artist. A frequent performer, Mike has appeared in over 25 professional productions including ​Occidental Express​ (Trap Door Theatre and International Tour), ​The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Trap Door Theatre-Jeff Nomination for Best Ensemble), ​Much Ado About Nothing (​ Alchemical Theatre), ​20,000 Leagues Under the Sea​ (Strawdog Theatre),​ Sight Unseen (​ Adventure Stage), ​No Beast So Fierce​ (Oracle Theatre),​ Skriker​ (Red Tape Theatre), and many more. Mike holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Studies from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. Mike will be attending UT Austin starting this fall as an MFA Directing candidate

Set Designer​ Nicholas Schwartz/ ​Costume Designer​ Rachel Sypniewski/ ​Makeup Design​ Zsofia Otvos / ​Sound Designers​ Matt Test and Sam Clapp/​ Lighting Designer​ Richard Norwood / ​Choreographer ​Jesse Hoisington/​ Graphic Designer​ Michal Janicki/ Dramaturg​ David Lovejoy / ​Assistant Director ​Skye Fort

Opens: Closes​: Runs​:
Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 8PM
Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 8PM
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM, (Wednesday, July 3rd)

Admission​: $20 on Thursdays and Fridays, $25 on Saturdays, 2 for 1 Admission on Thursdays 

Where:​ TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622

What:​ ​A conscientious citizen finds himself in a radiantly beautiful city. There is only one problem in Utopia - it is marred by the presence of an unknown and relentless killer. This dark absurdist comedy is a study of pure evil and an indifferent society that allows it to flourish.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

OPENING: Tango at Trap Door Theatre February 21-March 30, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

THE TRAP DOOR THEATRE is proud to present...
Written by: Sławomir Mrożek
Translated by: Ralph Manheim and Teresa Dzieduszycka Directed by: Emily Lotspeich

In this hilarious satire, the dangers inherent in contemporary society are inscribed in a universal story of how conformity, anarchy and formalism can come into conflict between generations. I'll be ChiILin' with Chi, IL's Trap Door Theatre in early March, so check back then for my full review.

Cast: Dennis Bisto, Adam Huizenga, Logan Hulick, Katelyn Lane, Joan Nahid, Emily Nichelson and Keith Surney.

Sɫawomir Mrożek (Playwright) was a Polish playwright born in 1930 in a small town near Kraków. He started his professional career as a cartoonist and journalist, and later on wrote many grotesque stories. His first play, The Police (1958) is a Kafkaesque parable, and was followed by a series of political, critical allegories cloaked in absurdist comedy such as Out at Sea (1961), Striptease (1961) and The Party (1963). His most famous play from this period is Tango which had its world premiere in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in January 1965. That same year a famous Polish critic Jan Kott observed that while Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz and Witold Gombrowicz, Mrożek’s dramatic predecessors, were ahead of their time, Mrożek has arrived right on time both in Poland and in the West. Some perceived Mrożek as a kind of “Polish Ionesco” as his plays poke absurdist fun at contemporary mores and life in the 20th century communist-dominated Poland. Mrożek emigrated to France in 1963 and lived in Italy and Mexico before returning to Poland after the fall of communism. While his plays were periodically banned in Poland, they were performed in the cities around the world including New York City where they were produced several times off Broadway and at La MaMa Theatre Club. Among other plays written by Mrożek are Vatzlav (1972—produced at Trap Door Theatre in 2014), The Emigrés (1974), The Ambassador (1981), Alpha (1984) and Love in the Crimea (1994). Mrożek died in France in 2013.

Emily Lotspeich (Director) Emily was born in Cincinnati where she was fortunate enough to attend the television noted School for Creative and Performing Arts from grades 4-12. There she majored in acting, directing, creative writing and oboe. She came to call Chicago home when she moved here to further her theater education at Depaul University. Emily is a Company Member and Development Director at The Trap Door Theatre. Trap Door Director credits include Universal Wolf and a staged reading of Made In Poland at last years International Voices Project. Trap Door Assistant Director credits include Beholder and the twentieth anniversary celebratory remount of R. W. Fassbinder’s Blood on the Cat’s Neck. Trap Door acting credits include Monseur D’eon Is A Woman, Sad Happy Suckers, Locketeer, Phaedra, Fantasy Island For Dummies, The Duchess of Malfi, AmeriKafka, 12 Ophelias and Anger/Fly. Trap Door Stage Manager credits include Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes, and How To Explain The History Of Communism To Mental Patients which toured in Hungary and Romania. In addition to Trap Door, Ms. Lotspeich has worked with Prop Thtr, Silent Theatre Company, Polarity Ensemble Theatre and Cornservatory.

Set Designer Jacqueline Frole/ Costume Designer Rachel Sypniewski/ Makeup Design Zsofia Otvos / Sound Designer Danny Rocket/ Lighting Designer Richard Norwood / Violence Design Bill Gordon / Choreographer Jesse Hoisington/ Graphic Designer Michal Janicki/ Dramaturg Milan Pribisic/ Assistant Director Nora Lise Ulrey

Opens: Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 8PM 
Closes: Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 8PM 
Runs: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM

Admission: $20 on Thursdays and Fridays, $25 on Saturdays, 2 for 1 Admission on Thursdays

Where: TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
For Information/Reservations: 773-384-0494 To purchase online

OPENING: Childhood Beauty at Trap Door Theatre March 3-25, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
THE TRAP DOOR THEATRE is proud to present as a part of the TRAP OPEN SERIES….

Childhood Beauty
Written by: Suz Evans
Directed by: Skye Fort

I'm eager to catch this show, as I too grew up in a small suburb of Cincinnati, like the playwright. Jane Fonda’s dance aerobics videos were even a disturbing gym class option in my high school. So I'm no stranger to the peppy "work that tiny body" refrain. I'll be out for opening night, so check back soon for my full review. 

What: Using the forms of theatre, performance art, and dance, Childhood Beauty is about reluctantly participating in Jane Fonda’s dance aerobics videos way-back-when. It is about monopolizing the thoughts that people think about your body. It is about awkward emotions and stool movements. Welcome to the show.
Suz Evans (playwright) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1990. They grew up in a small town, went to church twice a week and learned about the wrath of Hell alongside Jesus’s love. Their work questions the ideas that a Middle American upbringing convolutes around identity, hierarchy and divergence of the expected. As a non-binary queer, Suz is likely to twist gender roles and extend a genuine no-thanks to the cis-tem. Their writing is largely based in literary and field research, with a direct quotation style popular amongst contemporary German playwrights. They dream of a future in which humanoids have full autonomy over thought. Suz graduated with a BFA in printmaking and art history from Montserrat College of Art. Childhood Beauty is their first completed script.

Skye Fort (director)  spent her formative years  in small town New Mexico, but has called Chicago home for the past 7 years. She is a proud member of Trap Door Theatre, where she has previously worked as the assistant director on Old Woman Broods, Monsieur D’eon is A Woman, and Phedre. Skye is the company manager at Trap Door, and over the past six years has also had the honor of touring to Eastern Europe with Trap Door, and working as an actor and a stage manager. Having grown up dancing, Skye is drawn to any piece of theatre that has the possibility for extreme movement. Skye has a degree in theatre from The University of New Mexico and a is founding member of the performance art group So This Is Art. Skye likes to hang out on the line between performance art and theatre, and hopes you’ll join her there.

Costume Designer Josh Pennington/ Sound Designer Ty Easley/ Lighting Designer Gary Damico/ Multi-Media Specialist Ash Brayley/ Assistant Director Miguel Long / Production Assistant Anna Klos

 Cast: Maryam Abdi, David Lovejoy, Nora Lise Ulrey, Kellie Wyatt

Opens:     Sunday, March 3rd, 2019 at 8PM
Closes:     Monday, March 25th, 2019 at 8PM
Runs:       Sundays and Mondays at 8PM

Admission:  $10

Where:  TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave.  Chicago, IL 60622

For Information/Reservations: 773-384-0494 To purchase online

About the Trap Open Series:  Whether it is a workshop of a bold new play, a daylong performance installation, or a collaboration with artists from other mediums; this series seeks to offer audiences thrilling, unexpected experiences while giving voice to the next generation of groundbreaking theatre artists.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Monsieur D'Eon is a Woman at Trap Door Theatre Through June 30, 2018

Monsieur D'Eon is a Woman
Written by: Mark Brownell
Directed by: Nicole Wiesner
May 24 through June 30, 2018

Featuring: Maryam Abdi, Dennis Bisto, Ty Easley, Bill Gordon, Miguel Long, Emily Lotspeich, Michael Mejia, Ann Sonneville, Keith Surney, Nora Lise Ulrey, and featuring David Lovejoy as D'eon.

Runs: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM until Saturday, June 30th
Admission:  $20 on Thursday/Friday, $25 on Saturday 
Special: 2 for 1 Admission on Thursday

"Monsieur D'Eon is a Woman" is a madcap romp following the extraordinary life and adventures of the Chevailere D'eon, an eighteenth century French diplomat, soldier, spy and a celebrated figure for Transgender and Women's rights."

Where:  TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave.  Chicago, IL 60622
For Information/Reservations: 773-384-0494 To purchase online

Performances Thurs, Fri and Sat at 8PM
Admission: $20 on Thursdays and Fridays, $25 on Saturdays. Special 2 for 1 admission on Thursdays.

For More Information/Reservations:773-384-0494

Where: TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL  60622

Playwright: Mark Brownell is a Toronto-based playwright and co-artistic director of the Pea Green Theatre Group with his wife and partner Sue Miner. Awards: Nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award for his play, Monsieur d’Eon. He also received a Dora Mavor Moore Award for his libretto Iron Road and a Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination for Medici Slot Machine. In 2010 he was also the recipient of the infamous Harold Indie Theatre Award. Other award-winning work includes The Barbeque King, The Martha Stewart Projects, Playballs, High Sticking-Three Period Plays, The Chevalier St. George, The Storyteller’s Bag and The Weaving Maiden.

Director: Nicole Wiesner has been a member of the Trap Door Theatre since 1999. Directing credits include Jean Racine’s Phedre, Meg Miroshnik’s Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, and Howard Barker’s Minna. Favorite Trap Door acting credits include First Ladies, (dir. Zeljko Djukic, Joseph Jefferson Citation: Outstanding Actress); OVERWEIGHT; unimportant: MISSHAPE, (dir. Yasen Peyankov); and the title roles in The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant and Nana, (dir. Beata Pilch); and Alice in Bed. (Director Dado). Other credits include 2666 (dir. Seth Bockley and Robert Falls), Shining City, (dir. Robert Falls); Passion Play, (dir. Mark Wing-Davy, After Dark Award, Outstanding Performance) at The Goodman Theatre; The Book Thief (dir. Hallie Gordon), South of Settling (dir. Adam Goldstein) and Dublin Carol (Dir. Amy Morton) at Steppenwolf Theatre; Shining City, (dir. Robert Falls) at the Huntington Theatre in Boston; Passion Play (dir. Mark Wing-Davy) at Yale Repertory Theatre; Passion Play (dir. Mark Wing-Davy) at the Epic Theatre in NYC; Dying City (dir. Jason Loewith) at Next Theatre, Great Men of Science (dir. Tracy Letts) at Lookingglass Theatre.

Assistant Director Skye Fort / Set Designer J. Michael Griggs / Lighting Design Richard Norwood / Costume Design Rachel Sypniewski / Sound Design Danny Rockett / Fight Design Almanya Narula / Assistant Fight Design  Bill Gordon / Make-Up Design Zsófia Ötvös / Graphic Design Michal Janicki / Dramaturg Milan Pribisic / Stage Manager Anna Klos / Renaissance Man Gary Damico

Presenting Trap Door Off-Night!
shs poster with textSad Happy Sucker
Written by: Lee Kirk
Directed by: Mike Steele

What if you found yourself standing in your backyard, stuck to the earth, unable to move? Funny, and unexpectedly touching, Lee Kirk’s absurdist comedy explores the meaning of life, gravity, and cupcakes.

Cast: Logan Hulick, Emily Lotspiech, and Alex Stein

Sundays, June 17th thru July 8th at 8PM
Saturday, June 22nd at 10:30PM
Monday, July 9th at 8PM
Lighting Design Gary Damico/ Sound Design Mike Steele / Production Assistant Nora Lise Ulrey

Admission: $5 for advanced online reservation and $10 donation suggested at the door. For Information/Reservations: 773-384-0494

Where: TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622

Monday, November 27, 2017


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Written by Stanislaw I. Witkiewicz
Translated by Daniel Gerould & C.S. Durer

“They are running everything but no one knows who THEY actually are?” Using the text of Stanislaw Witkiewicz, They examines who THEY are and if the secret government really exists.

Adapted and Directed by:
Beata Pilch

Cast Featuring Mary-Kate Arnold, Daniel Chenard, Halie Ecker, Adam Huizenga, and Carl Wisniewski

Opens: Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 8PM
Closes: Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 8PM
Runs: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM

Admission: $20 on Thursdays and Fridays;  $25 on Saturdays, with a special Holiday 2-for-1 Admission on Thursdays and Fridays
Where:  TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave.  Chicago, IL 60622
For Information/Reservations: 773-384-0494 To purchase online

They tragically examines how the beauty in love and art is poisoned by the toxic remedy of normalization and the destruction of freedom and imagination.

Stanislaw I. Witkiewicz (1885-1939) is one the most brilliant figures of the European avant-garde, Witkiewicz was a poet, painter, playwright, an expert on drugs, an early spokesman for a radically non-realistic theatre and an original philosopher and social critic of mass culture, post-industrial society, and the rise of totalitarianism. He was also a pioneer in serious experimentation with narcotics and prophetically recognized the growing importance that they would have on Western civilization. Politics, revolution, and even art were similar “drugs.” Witkiewicz committed suicide shortly after the outbreak of War in September of 1939. He is best known for his plays The Madman and the Nun, The Mother, The Water Hen, The Anonymous Work, and The Shoemakers.

Beata Pilch- (Director) born in the Polish district of Chicago, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Acting from the United States International University in San Diego, California, and a Master's Degree in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Pilch founded Chicago's Trap Door Theatre in 1990 and still presides as its Artistic Director. She cultivated her life-long fascination with the avant-garde and obscure as a graduate student at the California Institute of the Arts.  A Chicago native and frequent European traveler, she felt that a company that combined bold and physical European acting technique with rich European theatrical literature would provide Chicago's entertainment scene with a unique and vibrant voice. Past favorite directing credits include: Madman and the Nun, Nana, Quills, The Bitter Tears of Petra Van Kant, The Fourth Sister, The Unveiling, Vatzlav, The Shoemakers, The Crazy Locomotive. Most recently, Beata directed Blood on the Cat’s Neck in Barcelona, Spain. She is a featured performer in the work of international multi-media visual artist Catherine Sullivan. She has performed in over 60 Trap Door productions and has toured abroad annually with the company to France, Romania, Hungary, and Poland. She will perform in the next touring production Occidental Express at the international theatre festival in The Republic of Moldova next fall, 2018.
Assistant Director Sami Ismat/ Sound Designer Danny Rockett/ Lighting Design Richard Norwood /Set Design Stefan Roseen/Costume Design Rachel Sypniewski/Graphic Design Michal Janicki/Video Design David Holcombe/Dramaturge Milan Pribisic/Stage Managers Mihta Garan and Elizabeth Melio

Special Art Event: Trap Door is proud to announce its first art show in rep! Original Artwork will be on display throughout the run, with a special artists reception following the performance on Friday, December 8, beginning at 9:30. Exhibiting artists include Kevin Moeller, Brain Morgan, Marzena Bukowska, Robin Rios, CJ Hungerman, Lovietta Simpkins, George Bowles, Poppy G, Bernadette Zawiesjska, Michael Garvey, ter Arts Zawitkowska, Alex XII- Paintings/artwork.

Monday, April 10, 2017

OPENING: Into The Empty Sky at Trap Door Theatre 5/11-6/17

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

THE TRAP DOOR THEATRE is proud to present...
Into the Empty Sky
Based on the poetry collection, MAP, by Wislawa Szymborska 
Translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak 
Devised and Directed by Monica Payne

Cast: Maryam Abdi, Tiffany Addison, Marzena Bukowska, Rashida Curtis, Halie Ecker, Mike Mazzocca, Kelsey Shipley 

Into the Empty Sky, devised and directed by Monica Payne, draws from a selection of Wislawa Szymborska’s poems as the catalyst for this new work. Szymborska, a beloved Polish poet and Nobel laureate, tended to view her subjects, both large and small, from an unusual, pragmatic, and wry perspective. Into the Empty Sky features six women trapped in a purgatorial landscape; unsure of their surroundings, haunted by the past, and trying desperately to escape.

Opens: Thursday May 11, 2017 at 8PM 
Closes: Saturday June 17, 2017 at 8PM
Runs:  Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM
Admission: $20 on Thursdays, Fridays, $25 on Saturdays, 2 for 1 Admission on Fridays 
Where: TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622

For Information/Reservations: 773-384-0494 To purchase online

Wisława Szymborska (Playwright) was born July 2nd, 1923 in Kórnik, Poznań province. Between 1945 and 1948 she studied Polish, Literature, and Sociology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She made her debut in March 1945 with the poem Looking for Words published in a supplement to the daily newspaper "Dziennik Polski". From 1953 to 1981 she worked on the Krakow-based weekly magazine "Życie Literackie", where she ran the poetry column and the book review column "Lektury nadobowiązkowe" (later resumed as "Gazeta o Książkach" in the supplement to Gazeta Wyborcza). 

Szymborska published 13 collections of poetrythat has been translated into over forty languages. She also translated poetry herself, mainly from French and German. In 1991 she received the Goethe Prize. In 1995 she won the Herder Prize, and in May of that same year, she was awarded the honorary degree honoris causa by Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. In 1996, Wisława Szymborska received the Polish PEN Club award and the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2001 she became an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2011 she was awarded the highest Polishnationaldecoration, the Order of theWhite Eagle. Wisława Szymborska died on February 1st, 2012 in Kraków.

Monica Payne (Director) is a freelance director who last worked with Trap Door in the spring of 2016, staging a reading of the award-winning Polish play Trash Story by Magda Fertacz, for the International Voices Project. She directed full productions of the same play in New York (Kulture+ Productions) and Los Angeles (UCLA TFT) and has traveled to Krakow twice through the Adam Mickiewicz Institute to study Polish theatre. Payne has also directed at UCLA, The Pittsburgh Playhouse, Theatre Lumina (LA), Point Park University, and The Artistic Home. As an assistant director, she has worked at Steppenwolf, The Goodman Theatre, Theatre Y, The Latino Theatre Company, and La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts. As a former actress, Payne has worked with Steppenwolf, The Artistic Home, The Hypocrites, The Journeymen, and Famous Door, among others. Payne has taught for several universities, including UCLA, Carnegie Mellon, and Point Park University. She has been a Meisner teacher for 16 years and has taught for The School at Steppenwolf, The Artistic Home, The Audition Studio, Steppenwolf Classes West, and independently. She earned her M.F.A. in Directing from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and is a member of both the NY and LA Directors' Labs. www.monicapaynedirector. com.

Set Designer Eleanor Kahn/ Lighting Design Richard Norwood/ Costume Design Rachel Sypniewski/ Sound Design/Composer Mike Mazzocca / Make-Up Design Zsófia Ötvös / Graphic Design Michal Janicki/ Dramaturg Milan Pribisic / Stage Manager Kristin Davis

Sunday, September 18, 2016

OPENING: Fantasy Island For Dummies at THE TRAP DOOR THEATRE

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar

Fantasy Island For Dummies
(too near, too near)
Written by Ruth Margraff 
Directed by Kate Hendrickson

A new theatre work inspired by an episode of the iconic television series about the pleasures and perils of wish fulfillment. Devised in a collaborative exploration with TrapDoor Theater actors, the piece is written by Ruth Margraff and directed by Kate Hendrickson, with original music composed by Nikos Brisco. In 1980 a “Fantasy Island” episode about a ventriloquist and her devious dummy inspires a voyage into suppressed identities, ancient Babylonian sex goddesses and a “perfect wife” struggling with her defiant side.

Ruth Margraff (Playwright) Ruth Margraff has been called a leader in America's avant garde for her “audaciously original" (Moscow Times) use of language as poetic and vocal art to provide “layer after layer of richly textured emotion...and imminent danger” (Dallas Morning News). Best known in Chicago for her critically acclaimed ANGER/FLY with Trap Door and Kate Hendrickson in 2012; in NYC for writing six critically acclaimed martial arts operas with the late composer Fred Ho for the Apollo, Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music and several national tours; for her Night Wind from Afghanistan for the play SEVENtouring the world since 2008, introduced in 2010 by Hillary Clinton with Meryl Streep at the Broadway Hudson Theater; and for touring with her Café Antarsia Ensemble's projects such as PREVIOUSLY BLUE (Dah Teatar, Serbia; 7Stages, Atlanta; Coe College/ Marquis Series, Dows Theatre, Iowa; Links Hall, Chicago Fringe Festival). She has received awards from Rockefeller, McKnight, Jerome, NEA, TCG, TMUNY, NYSCA, IAC, and Fulbright foundations. She’s a member of Theater Without Borders, LPTW and Red Tape Theater, a New Dramatist and Playwrights’ Center alumnae, a Chicago Dramatist playwright emeritus, and is Professor and Chair of the Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of

Kate Hendrickson (Director) Kate Hendrickson is a resident director at Trap Door Theatre where her particular focus is on premiering new plays by radical American playwrights. She has developed and sustained long-term collaborative relationships with several playwrights, steering multiple world premiere productions to critical and popular success. Together with Margraff and the Trap Door ensemble Hendrickson created ANGER/FLY which was recognized in the Chicago Reader “Best Of” edition as part of a Trap Door season presenting the “best string of theatrical stunners.” Other Trap Door credits include Cookie PlayChaste and Beholder (Jeff Award for Best New Work, After Dark Award for Best Original Music), by Ken Prestininzi. Chaste received "Best of the Year" nods in the Chicago TribuneChicago Sun-TimesChicago Stage Review, and the Huffington Post. Kate also directed Midwest premieres of Prestininzi's AmeriKafka, Howard Zinn's Emma (After Dark Award for Best Ensemble), and 12 Ophelias by Caridad Svich.
Assistant Director/SM Kristin Davis/ Lighting Design Richard Norwood / Set Design AJ Tarzian/ Costume Design Rachel Sypniewski / Music Composer Pink VelvetGraphic Design Michal Janicki/ Sound Design Mike Mazzocca/ Movement Director Kasey Foster/ Makeup Design Zsófia Ötvös

Opens: Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 8PM Saturday, 
Closes: November 5, 2016 at 8PM 
Runs: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM
Admission: $20 on Thursdays and Fridays; $25 on Saturdays, Special two-for-one admission on Fridays
Where: TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622

For Information/Reservations: 773-384-0494 To purchase online

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Written by Dorota Masłowska 
Translated by Artur Zapałowski
Directed by Max Truax

Featuring: Tiffany Bedwell, Marzena Bukowska, Simina Contras, Hallie Ecker, Michael Garvey, Johnny Graff, Emily Nichelson, Beata Pilch, and Kelsey Shipley.

Dorota Masłowska’s NO MATTER HOW HARD WE TRY is a scathing satire about the decaying Polish national identity in the aftermath of war, occupation and the commodifying forces of Western capitalism. 

Three generations of Polish women live together in squalor, escaping their desperate lives through the fantasies provided by television and fashion magazines.

The Playwright DOROTA MASŁOWSKA is a Polish writer born in 1983. Her first novel translated into English as SNOW WHITE AND RUSSIAN RED, was published while she was still a teenager and made her an instant literary sensation in her native country. The novel detailed the growing pains of marginalized small-town youth. In 2005, Masłowska published her second book, THE QUEEN’S PUKECOCK, a 150 page rap poem in prose. Both of these books were adapted for the stage in Poland, Germany and Great Britain. Masłowska wrote her first play, A COUPLE OF POOR-POLISH SPEAKING ROMANIANS, in 2006 (Trap Door staged it in 2009) and her second one, NO MATTER HOW HARD WE TRY, OR WE CAN EXIST ON THE BEST TERMS WE CAN, in 2008. In 2012, Masłowska published another novel, HONEY, I KILLED OUR CATS, and in 2014 released her first music album, THE SOCIETY IS MEAN, a mixture of punk, rap and dance music with lyrics commenting on current social issues. Masłowska ’s writing is characterized by her ironic, pessimistic worldview and extraordinary linguistic power; as a postmodern writer she confronts, disturbs and subverts sacred ideas of selfhood and nationhood.

The Director MAX TRUAX is a Resident Director at Trap Door, where he has directed productions of  THE BALCONY by Jean Genet, THEY ARE DYING OUT by Peter Handke, an operatic interpretation of HAMLETMACHINE by Heiner Muller, NO DARKNESS ROUND MY STONE by Fabrice Melquiot, and A COUPLE OF POOR, POLISH-SPEAKING ROMANIANS, also by Dorota Masłowska. His production of  A COUPLE OF POOR, POLISH-SPEAKING ROMANIANS  performed at the Fun Underground Festival in Arad, Romania and at the Bagatela Theatre in Krakow, Poland.  Max is a freelance director and the Artistic Director of Oracle Productions, where he recently directed NO BEAST SO FIERCE, THE PRESIDENT, and THE MOTHER.   His production of THE MOTHER received several Jeff Awards including awards for Best Production and Best Ensemble. Max studied visual art, performance art and choreography at Oberlin College and received his MFA in Theatre Directing from California Institute of the Arts.     

Set Designer Joanna Iwanicka/ Lighting Designer Richard Norwood / Costume Designer Rachel Sypniewski / Sound Designer Steve Labedz/Video Design Paul Deziel/Stage Manager Deirdre Connelly/ Makeup Designer / Zsófia Ötvös Graphic Designer Michal Janicki/ 

Opens: Thursday, May 12,  2016 at 8PM 
Closes: Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 8PM 
Runs: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM

Special Talk Back: On SATURDAY MAY 14th following the performance, there will be a talk back and reception with guest playwright from Poland DOROTA MASŁOWSKA  and the cast focusing on the play’s theme and director MAX TRUAX’s process and vision. Wine and cheese reception to follow.
Admission: $20 on Thursdays and Fridays, with two-for-one admission on Fridays, $25 on Saturdays
Where: TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622

For Information/Reservations: 773-384-0494. To purchase online

Friday, March 20, 2015

OPENING: La Bete at Trap Door Theatre #Theatre #Chicago

Trap Door Theatre Presents:

March 19th - April 25th, 2015
  Written by: David Hirson   
Directed by: Kay Martinovich

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
$20 on Thursdays and Fridays, $25 on Saturdays, 
Special 2-for-1 Admission on Fridays

$30 on this Saturday, March 21st for talkback with director Kay Martinovich. Wine and cheese reception to follow!

La Bête is a rollicking play, written in rhyming couplets, and inspired by the life of the French comic master, Molière. In the play, Elomire (an anagram for Molière) is the leader of an acting troupe, which according to their patron, the Princess, has gone stale and listless. She decrees that they must now hire a new company member, the bombastic, vulgar street performer Valere. A standoff between Elomire and Valere ensues and their lively debate is both funny and dramatic, hilarious and tragic.

Featuring: Marzena Bukowska, Casey Chapman, Kevin Cox, Jesse Dornan, Skye Fort, Bill Gordon, Kelly Jean,Meghan Lewis, Mike Mazzocca & Ann Sonneville

David Hirson (Playwright) is an American playwright born into a show business family. He attended Yale and Oxford and his two well known-plays (La Bête and Wrong Mountain) deal with the issues surrounding the “creative process,” culture, and art vs. entertainment. La Bête, his first play, was produced on Broadway in 1991 where it infamously closed after only 25 shows despite the John Gassner Playwriting Award of the Outer Critics Circle for its author. The next year, it was produced at London’s West End garnering both critical and commercial success and winning the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. The play got its second chance on Broadway in 2010 with great success, which was repeated at London’s West End. Hirson’s plays have received nominations for multiple Tony and Drama Desk Awards. Kay Martinovich (Director) works as a freelance director based in Chicago. Most recently she directed Down Range by Jeffrey Skinner at Genesis Productions and A Skull in Connemara By Martin McDonagh at Northern Illinois University, where she is an Assistant Professor in Acting. Last year she directed Winsor McCay by Laura Marks (TEN Festival) at The Gift Theater and Anything of Value by Brett Neveu (RIPPED Festival) at American Blues. As Associate Artistic Director of Irish Repertory of Chicago (1999-2006), she directed the American premieres of Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats… and Brian Friel’s The Yalta Game, among others. She is a proud member of The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC).

Stage Manager Allison Goetzman / Set Designer Carolyn Voss / Lighting Designer Richard Norwood /Costume Designer Rachel Sypniewski / Sound Designer Steve Labedz / Movement Kendra Holton/Dramaturg Milan Pribisic / Graphic Designer Michal Janicki /

To help celebrate Trap Door Theatre’s 21st Anniversary, Jane’s Restaurant is offering a complimentary glass of wine with purchase of your entree! Just show your ticket to your server and enjoy! Jane’s is located in the front of the Trap Door building at 1655 W. Cortland Ave.

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